Things I realized from being brutally honest with myself

Writing has always entertained me, in one way or another. A fun, relaxing, magical thing. My parents always encourage me to write things out, whether it be a personal diary entry full of my feelings, or a professional article on my stance on a current issue. Because of this (maybe ‘nurtured’)affinity toward writing, I think that when I write, I see a true reflection of myself in the most honest way possible.

It’s when I’m sitting alone in front of my laptop with a cup of coffee, in an old cafe(which is what I’m doing right at this very moment) that I can pluck up the courage to connect with myself. When I say ‘connect with myself’ I don’t mean some superstitious voodoo business; I mean actually acknowledge myself for what I’ve become.

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It’s really not as easy as it sounds, you know, acknowledging yourself for what you are. Of course, once in a while we all whine about how we’re so doomed because we procrastinate endlessly, or we rant on about how we eat too much and sleep too much(or too little, in my case. Sleep, I mean.) But have we actually journeyed further than that? I doubt it. We never really get to step beyond the comfort zones of our smartphones and casual social media binging.

We’re at the point where it seems taboo to question the most fundamental things. Try asking a random basic ‘philosophical’ question to a friend. It will probably make them(most people I’ve tried it on have, anyways) almost instinctively try to lighten the awkwardness of how fundamental and ‘deep’ your question was by joking around or seeming clearly uncomfortable with how ‘pretentious’ you sound by asking such a thoughtful question instead of commenting on the latest hot topic or something. Considering this situation, the only way we seem to be realistically evaluating ourselves is through our selfies. Which I think is really bad, since selfies don’t even begin to scratch the surface of who we are at all. Whenever I take a selfie I feel like I’m deluding myself by filling up my empty spots with the shallow satisfaction of how I look(not that I think I look fabulous…but you get what I mean in general) and establishing my existence by posting them on Facebook, rather than actually taking the time to get to know my inner self.

Today I had a lot of time to kill on my hands since finals ended last week and I was alone for most of the day, so I decided to stop and take a break from mourning over my horrendous finals scores and sending my friends memes on Facebook and just be alone for a while. To get off social media and stop worrying about what other people are gonna think of me(or whether they’re thinking of me, *cough cough* hot guy on the third row in chemistry class) and just devote a chunk of time solely to myself. It’s harder said than done. It can actually be quite frightening to some people, and I understand that. For some of us, being alone with our thoughts can be harder than facing a room full of a thousand people, especially in today’s world. I admit-hitting the ‘deactivate’ button on Facebook was a big decision, my index finger was trembling as I hit the button that would segregate me from the world and disconnect me from my primary source of self-worth, but I survived it like a warrior. Okay, that was exaggerated. But still, it was hard.

I sat in a cafe, ordered my usual green tea latte, and basically I just…sat for hours, writing out things on my mind, sipping latte and listening to Christmas carols(only 4 days left now!), and thinking about things I usually don’t have the time to think about. I’ve been sitting here in the corner of this cafe for hours now and I’ve come up with some thoughts at least remotely worthy enough to put down on paper, or, on my laptop screen.

Being brutally honest with myself for once, firstly, I realized that I was stopping myself from becoming more successful in life. To be exact, my arrogance was barring me from advancing in so many areas of my life. I had never realized it before because a) I always seemed to have more urgent things to think about and b) I was too afraid to face my flaws in the face BECAUSE OF my arrogance(a vicious cycle..arrgg) in the If I had continued on with my life unaware of this

Secondly, I realized that I am being very weak right now. Finals finally ended last week and school is about to let out in a few days; obviously it would be an understatement to say that I’m a little over the moon and therefore am a little in the partay-all-day-whoop-whoop mood but I’m going to have to go to university next year and I.NEED.TO.GET.UP. I am being lazy. I’ve been in denial about this for a week now but now I must get myself together and STOP ILLEGALLY BINGE-WATCHING ‘MY MAD FAT DIARY’. Seriously. Procrastination isn’t cool anymore-has anyone else ever felt the sickening feeling of being left behind when everyone else seems to be moving forward in life and living out their dreams step by step?

Thirdly, I realized that I’m not that attractive. I’m not saying this to be degrading toward myself or try to earn your sympathy. I just feel like I should acknowledge reality.

Finally, I realized that I should be more honest with not only myself but also with others in my life. A few white lies here and there are acceptable, but mainly I need to have honest, genuine bonds with the people around me that I love. From now on, it’s going to be either a true relationship where I don’t have to act superficial, or no relationship.

Whew, this one was really emotional and long and personal.

The story of how I fell asleep and missed my interview with Pixie Lott

Hey readers,

I feel like, because it’s hard to find an avid fashion blogger my age in Korea, lots of people tend to think I must be an incredibly amazing blogger. The thing is, whether I’m interviewing America’s Next Top Model models, hosting collaboration projects, or talking to magazine editors, I slip up a lot. And I mean A LOT.

For example, the other day I was supposed to be interviewing Pixie Lott, but I FELL ASLEEP AND MISSED IT.

Yep, you read that correctly. I just literally could not attend the online webinar BECAUSE I WAS FRIGGIN SLEEPING. IN MY BED. And this is THE PIXIE LOTT we’re talking ’bout here.

So here’s what happened. Recently I found a blogger community newsletter in my heap of emails. There was a link to attend the online Q&A session with Pixie Lott, hosted by the brand Magnitone. Of course, being a Pixie Lott fan, I applied. As I waited in anxiety and anticipation, I received an email informing me that I’d made it; that I’d been chosen to participate in the exclusive live webinar session with Pixie Lott. At that point I could practically imagine the looks of utter shock and admiration on people’s faces when they found out about it. Tingling with excitement, I posted this on facebook.

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And people were in awe, as I’d expected.

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I was too busy basking in the glory of being the first person among my friends to be able to exclusively interview someone as famous as Pixie Lott, that at first I did not realize that the Q&A session was in three hours. I was probably the last person put on the list.

I honestly freaked out when I read the words ‘Reminder: the exclusive Q&A session with Pixie Lott is in three hours(4AM)!’ in my business inbox. I’d been studying at school until 10PM that day, I was tired, I needed a shower and a nice few hours of sound sleep. A short internal conflict occurred in my head-should I stay up until 4AM and talk to Pixie Lott, or should I just forget it and get some sleep? After a split second, I decided that the former would definitely have to happen, because, who knows, this could be my big break, right? You never know in the blogging world.

So I drank my coffee, washed my face, and sat at my desk to prepare myself for the painful three hours of cruel, wearisome waiting in anticipation and irritation from severe sleep deprivation that were to come. I did everything to keep myself awake. After all, I couldn’t let my readers(you guys) down, and my friends were counting on me to nail this Q&A session and tell them all about it.

AND THEN guess what I did. I got a little drowsy, so I thought, ‘just 5 minutes…yes…I’ll just close my eyes for just, just…5 minutes’, and then I WENT TO MY BED. Now there’s one thing you need to know about my bed-it’s the coziest, softest, most sleep-inducing patch of space on planet Earth. It’s truly a fine bed. And as I lay down, I kept telling myself, ‘Everything will be fine… I’m sure I’ll get up before 4…’ BUT NO.

NO, NO, NO. JUST. NO. I DID NOT get up before 4. In fact I did not get up at all until the clock struck 7:10 AM. I opened my eyes, got straight up, stared at the clock, rubbed my eyes, then stared some more. The clock definitely said 7:10. I panicked for a while, even thinking, ‘well..well…maybe the webinar isn’t over! Maybe I’ll still get to talk to Pixie…’ But I regained my logical thinking skills, muttered some bad language about how I was such an idiot(WHICH I WAS), and went back to bed, because, you know, maybe it was just a big bad dream(which it wasn’t).

And that’s my story of how I almost, just almost, interviewed Pixie Lott. My friends were totally bummed when I told them, of course. My mother just laughed at me. I was mad at myself for a while but then, oh well.

This post was supposed to be about my almost-happened interview with Pixie Lott, but since it didn’t happen, here’s my reflection on the whole situation.

Thinking back now, firstly, I’m beginning to realize it’s not that big of a deal. #YOLO. Just kidding. That hashtag is overused. But seriously though, take that in for a moment-You Only Live Once. If I only live once, I wanna make mistakes, especially while I’m still young. I’m only human. There’s no point dwelling on the past and getting angry all over again. It’s a waste of precious time. Secondly, while I do need to forgive myself and move on, I also need to learn from my mistakes. Me missing the interview chance was totally my fault. I cannot blame anyone else for it since it was just the result of me being an idiot. Blogging and tackling school work all at once is turning out to be harder than I thought, and I do struggle. However, since I made the conscious choice to continue on with my blogging career, I need to start being more responsible for it. I need to improve my time management, primarily.

I also need to focus on the essence of my blogging. I always told myself that I didn’t want to be the type of fashion blogger that just posts photos of Chanel and Givenchy, accepting unhealthy fashion ideals and passing selling them on to the public as if those standards are the ultimate rules of fashion, conforming to trends without critical thinking. However, these days I often find myself thirsty for opportunities with famous, popular people that might give me my ‘big break’. It’s ridiculous, I know. I need to focus on my writing; my posts, which express my true colours and insights, and stop floating above my conscience, swimming on the edge of glamour and undeserved fame. This is my confession and promise to you guys that from now on I’ll remind myself each day of why I’m staying up this late(or NOT staying up, in the case of how my Pixie Lott interview went down, haha) and take myself to the beginning whenever I feel like I’m becoming too obsessed with the shallow glittery stuff. Because I believe I can make a positive change and contribute to the development of self-expression.

I love you guys. Thank you.

How to not deal with emotions

Hey readers,

I feel like I’ve been abusing this blog too much by going on and on about my personal life and all its nitty gritty details! Am I being too selfish? Here’s one last personal post for this summer before I get to work and fill you guys in on all the fashion stuff.

I thought writing about personal things would be the hardest, since, from my experience, no one’s really good at voluntarily and truthfully exposing themselves to the rest of the world. It usually takes lots of time, memories, and shared secrets for people to pluck up the courage to simply show themselves to each other. It’s a ridiculous human trait now that I put it this way, but it’s also understandable, since as a species we humans are so good at picking each other apart for who we really are. In this sense, it’s quite natural for me to be afraid (or at least nervous) of putting myself out here, writing myself down, on the internet(which is infamous for bringing out the inner brutality in people-hello haters?). But contrary to my original thoughts and popular belief, I actually feel most comfortable when I’m sitting here alone with my old broken laptop with a mug of iced latte, telling hundreds of people I’ve never met before about my personal inner self. I think it’s interesting. Don’t you?

I think it’s easier for me to be honest here than to most people I know in real life because we(you, reading this, and I, writing this) don’t have any strings attached. As humans we actually are capable of being genuine and caring about each other without calculating profit(shocker, I know). We just never get the chance to do so because our society is built upon structure and class pyramids and all this give-and-take. It gets to my head sometimes. I mean, a lot. That’s why I’m very proud of myself for creating a little haven on the internet here where we can all just chill together and be who we are and not be judged or discriminated or used. All I ask of you is to be genuine and honest.

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(It’s a shame that I try to cover the camera lens all the time when people try to take photos of me. Maybe I just haven’t fully accepted myself yet?)

Speaking of honesty, a personal thing I want to share with you here in my personal haven called my blog today is that recently I’m realizing that I haven’t been a very honest person, in terms of emotions. To myself and consequently to other people, too. In the past I thought I was amazing at the art of self-expression. After all, I’m a (self-labeled) artist, writer, blogger, and photographer. Back in London, my favorite class was drama-when I was a child I wanted to become an actress. I was the epitome of self-expression; the queen of expressing human emotions. Or so I thought. Until yesterday.

I was always good at coming up with expressive, unique ideas that no one else in the class could think of. But I know now that that does not make me good at ‘self-expression’. Expression through art and real honest emotional expression are two different concepts. I could convey certain emotions through my literary skills or art skills or acting skills, but (especially as I grew older) I lacked the ability to communicate what I myself was feeling in real situations in my life. As I hit puberty and matured, I absorbed the ideals of profit and give-and-take that my competitive surroundings(hello, private prep school) were feeding me, and my inability of honest emotional interaction got worse and worse and hardened inside me, becoming a solid characteristic trait of mine. And not only did the inability stick, but in my mind I also started to form prejudices against emotions themselves. I thought emotions made people weak, and that the stronger people were the ones that knew how to not let petty things like compassion or ‘feelings’ affect their lives and their paths to success. I idolized logic and cold-blooded-ness. My face lost its aptitude to move its muscles to transmit what was going on inside my emotional chamber. In middle school people(friends, ex-boyfriends, teachers) would often tell me I should smile more and stop looking so devoid of emotion all the time. In high school(which I’m still attending), when doing “What type of person are you” quizzes on Buzzfeed with my friends, my friends shout out “emotionless!” on the “How do your friends describe you” question. Even then, I smirked silently inside as I gave myself a pat on the back for succeeding in concealing my vulnerability-my emotions. And all the romantic relationships I’ve had probably don’t qualify as romantic relationships since there is no romance in faking, saying things I don’t mean, and being a user. (I hope my ex(es) are not reading this.) “I don’t believe in love.” I would state, proudly.

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Up until a few days ago, my whole 17 years of ego and self-esteem were built on my pride in my absolute devotion to logic and complete disregard of childish emotions, and my belief that that made me tough and gave me an advantage in life. What I didn’t realize was that hiding and ignoring my emotions did not make me a stronger person. I was blinded by my obsession over rationality and accurate calculations, and my bias on human emotions. Whenever I could feel my feelings seeping up from the barren asphalt of my mind, I would try my best to squish them back under the surface and coat another layer of asphalt on top of the crack from where they had seeped out. What I didn’t know was that burying the emotions alive wouldn’t kill them. Ignoring the emotions would get them out of the way for a while, but the emotions would still be there inside me under the layer of asphalt, bubbling and boiling and knocking on the surface to get out. I was basically just planting volcanoes in my mind and heart. And those volcanoes erupted yesterday.

All the anger, sadness, and vulnerability I had bottled up inside me finally got the best of me. They had been eating at me little by little from the inside, and yesterday they erupted like there was no tomorrow. Something inside me exploded. I cried and laughed and felt more numb than ever all at the same time, and my mind, which was only used to pushing emotions out of the way, wasn’t trained to handle emotions, so I panicked. I was in a terrible state. I acted out by being rash and not thinking(a total opposite to my usual habits of over-thinking everything) and doing something very stupid. Luckily, my friends helped me out and stopped anything too big from happening.

So here I sit in this cozy chair in a cafe that I usually go to on my street, after the storm. I now finally see how ironically irrational I was actually being.

I remember I once asked my best friend, “Are emotions important?” And he said, “Yes.”

“Why?” I demanded. “They just make you vulnerable.”

To this he said, “They’re what make you human.”

I now understand what he meant. Emotions aren’t childish. Trying to ignore them is. And ignoring them comes with terrible consequences. Everyone has them(unless you’re a psycho/sociopath… in which case you should go see a doctor right now). Even I have always had them. Thinking back now, I’ve actually experienced many deep emotions(I think I actually probably have a pretty high EQ). I just refused to acknowledge them as a part of me.

Now that I’m removing the veil of prejudice and clouded thinking before my eyes, I can see that me trying to appear emotionless was only a manifestation of my insecurities. I didn’t know how to deal with my insecurities and my own vulnerability and was afraid of them, so my mind reacted to the fear of showing my weak spots by just not showing anything. I was a coward. I thought it made me strong but it made me weak and almost killed me inside. Now I’m going to practice exercising my emotions in a more healthy way; practice being human.

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Image Credits: http://theladyawkward.blogspot.kr/2014/03/evil-cold-hearted-ice-queen.html, http://www.pinterest.com/pin/329748003936339933/

My good friend Rylee. And our little photoshoot!

Hey readers,

I took the MBTI personality test(Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), which is a surprisingly accurate test that can determine which of the given 16 personality types you belong in.  I got ‘INTP’. This means I’m extremely analytical. I enjoy(and unfortunately or fortunately feel the irrational impulse) analyzing just about everything and anything that catches my eye. It’s a pretty useful personality trait in terms of studying subjects like fashion, but today I decided to utilize it in analyzing my good friend Rylee. It made me see her more clearly as a person and made me realize that she’s actually a pretty cool person if you think about it.

This is the first time I’m writing a post about someone else other than my sister(who I always use as my model), so if Rylee is reading this she should probably feel blessed. : D

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(YES THIS IS RYLEE)

I was a bit worried about writing this post at first because I thought that maybe it would seem to you guys that I’m talking about a topic too distant. You know, the awkwardness when your friend suddenly starts talking about her friend from Art class who you don’t know. The irritation you feel when you’re having a lovely conversation with someone about ice cream and they suddenly change the topic to the history of quantum physics, and you just stand there with a blank, lifeless expression, thinking, ‘So you were saying… chocolate or vanilla?’ Yeah… I really didn’t wanna be a turn-off in that manner so I honestly am anxious about you guys’ reactions, so be sure to leave a comment and tell me whether you liked it or not!

Anyways, here we go!

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Think of that one friend-the most easygoing, crazy, spontaneous, yet surprisingly smart(probably the result of DNA, since, well, the day you see this friend being studious is probably gonna be the day Miley Cyrus stops twerking. A day we shall never see in this lifetime.), slightly-obnoxious-at-times friend. The one friend that we can always count on to grace our Facebook newsfeeds with gloriously disturbing yet magnificently delighting photos, always making us smile awkwardly into our laptop screens(, not quite knowing how to respond to the piece of exquisite photography before our eyes).

Well, in my life, Rylee is that friend. And she’s so amazing that I want you guys to cherish in her awesomeness with me. (okay that was too cheesy.)

The best thing about Rylee is that she’s always up for fun. Whether you wanna go dress like Lady Gaga and sing and dance like a lunatic in the middle of the street or just sit and talk about your feelings, Rylee will be there for you. But the thing is, since she’s always there, it’s easy to make the mistake of taking her for granted. Which is what I did yesterday night when I was talking to her on Facebook. It was 3AM and I guess we were both just tired and cranky when we talked, but that’s when your true feelings start seeping out, right? When she brought up the topic of me putting other priorities or other people over her and our friendship, I realized how there was so much truth in what she was (probably) absent-mindedly saying to me out of the fatigue and crankiness and raw honesty of 3AM.

So Rylee, if you’re reading this, I apologize. I agree that I’ve been pretty thoughtless lately regarding us and I’m sorry.

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Another great thing about Rylee is that she’s so brutally honest. Sometimes I can just feel her honesty smashing against my ego, but strangely enough I actually love that. (No, I’m not a masochist.) I cannot emphasize enough how much I worship honestly, even if it can be painful at times. I remember this saying that I picked up back in my Tumblr days-“Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.” It used to be written on my phone background. I love that Rylee has the courage-something that I notice many others don’t have-to speak her mind. It’s really not that easy to be able to do that if you think about it. People are usually dominated under circumstances or authority and we always seem to find a way to self-rationalize holding our tongues even when we feel the urge to speak, but I’m proud to have a friend like Rylee who isn’t afraid to expose her thoughts, whether they’re right or wrong. If my hair looks bad today, then I can count on Rylee to tell me it looks bad! If I’m slacking off and need to get a grip and start working harder, then I know that Rylee will be there for me with a cup of coffee, telling me I’ve got to try harder.

There are still so many things I want to tell you about my friend Rylee, but I really think it would take all night. So I’ll just show you some pictures I took of her while we were on our photoshoot spree during our school’s festival and we’ll call it a day.

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Once Rylee said to me, “I want to know everything about you!” And Konni was happy that day because she felt thankful to have a friend who was willing to hear all about her dull, tragic life story.

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If there’s one thing about Rylee that I’d point out in personal disagreement, it would be her fashion. I personally would never dress like Rylee. It’s too sporty for me. (This is just my personal opinion. I’m not saying Rylee’s fashion is objectively bad. I actually respect the fact that Rylee is not wrapped up in current trends or the latest fashion. Really.) But I like the ensemble of simple clothes in the photos above, especially since they suit the atmosphere of the graffiti in the background.

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(Sometimes Rylee and I like to chase random ducks together.)

They say your friends are a reflection of yourself. (If I looked at a mirror and I saw Rylee looking back at me, I would feel… wait, wrong train of thought…) If Rylee is a reflection of me, then Hooray for me! I’d love to be more like Rylee. She’s athletic(hello, miss head-of-the-school-lacrosse-team), cool, and much braver than me in many ways. I’m grateful to be lucky enough to have a special person like Rylee be my friend. I don’t know what I would do without her.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Don’t forget to Like this post or leave a comment below- just click on the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Comment box and Like button at the bottom of the post.

Korea Style Week, Celety, meeting the most famous fashion designers in Korea, and how I found out I can’t be a model

Hey readers,

I’ve never been pressured to write a post before, but tonight I am. Not in a bad way though. The pressure comes from my own enlightened desire to write something worthy of describing the awesomeness of the 4th Korea Style Week and all the things I learned and all the wonderful people I met through the experience.

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I honestly have so much I want to share about Korea Style Week this year that, despite my years of blogging experience, I don’t know where to start. The experience was overwhelming in such a lovely way that makes me feel all tingly just thinking about it right now.

 

BRANDS, BRANDS, BRANDS //MODERN SNAPBACKS AND CLASSIC JEWELRY

This year’s KSW was THE essence of my fashion blogging career(if you can call it a career). I feel that the most distinct feature and exclusive merit of buyer-to-buyer brand fairs like this is the diversity of brands. All the brands are willing to engage with the public and are very willing to communicate, which is something I truly appreciated as a fashion blogger at the event. Almost all the brand representatives I talked to were amiable and open to questions about the brand’s style in general, which made it easy for me to do interviews and gather resources.

Since it was a buyer-to-buyer fair, I inevitably anticipated that there would be limits on the creativity/originality of brands’ products but I was pleasantly surprised to see that in depth, every brand had their own ideals/motives and each held a sort of pride about their brand name, which I loved.

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Walking around the maze of brand booths, I could not take my eyes off all the clothes just beckoning for me to come buy them but interestingly for me the two exquisite hidden gems that I discovered this year in KSW were snapbacks and custom jewelry. This is amusing to me because I hardly ever wear snapbacks or pay much attention to my jewelry(hipsters leave angry comments now). It seems to me that hats or accessories have always been side-dishes to the main menu of my actual clothes, which, I now realize, is a very inappropriate attitude(since snapbacks are just the epitome of modern, youthful, hip culture).

 

HATER SNAPBACKS (http://hatersnapback.com/)

The most popular snapbacks at KSW were definitely those from the brand ‘HATer SNAPBACK’, and I could see why. Their snapbacks had a definite structure(unlike those other flimsy caps that you get from brands that don’t specialize in snapbacks) and a unique, appealing style. Their snapbacks seem like a whole new world of snapbacks. They succeeded in creating their own pedestal in the market of snapbacks.

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Each snapback has the famous upside-down-triangle brand logo in gold and the same structure. The only variants among all these snapbacks are the colors and patterns. It gives a sense of altered continuity. The snapbacks look great as one big collection and look equally as swag-filled separately, too.

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I would pick out one personal favorite if I could, but right now I’m hovering between the pink fluorescent one above and the tie-dye colored, leather printed one below.

IMG_2649IMG_2638 IMG_2639IMG_2708 IMG_2651Looking at these snapbacks makes me realize the importance of creating a distinct, consistent brand style. The certain image that you have of a brand can really decide whether you buy or not, and something that all successful brands have is a proper understanding of that fact. Sounds simple, but hard to put into action.


CELETY 

This is a brand I now personally feel extremely attached to. I approached the brand representative with the usual “Hi, I’m a fashion blogger and I want to feature your brand..” and she said, “Are you sure you’re a fashion blogger?”(I will still never know whether she was joking or not) Slightly offended, I replied, “I’ll show you my blog!” She smiled coolly and said, “I’m kidding.” At the time I was taken aback by her straightforwardness and humorous nature but I soon came to adore her relentless honesty. After talking about my blog and showing her my work, she was happy to collaborate.

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Jewelry is something I’ve never really experimented with. Personally, interacting with a jewelry brand was like pioneering in a whole new field. And it turns out I’m a jewelry geek.

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Intrigued by their painfully beautiful summer collection, I couldn’t have been more eager to work with Celety. I actually got the chance to interview the brand rep. of Celety(her name in Korean is 임그린), and it was honestly one of the most meaningful conversations I’ve had as a blogger.

 

ME: What’s the most important thing in running a brand business?

REP: Uniqueness is great, but individual sensitivity is definitely crucial. I draw my inspiration and sensitivity from old pop, and therefore I don’t deviate too much from the classics. I just add my own color and structure.

ME: What’s the difference between clothing trends and accessory trends?

REP: Jewelry doesn’t really have cyclic trends. It’s been 8 years since I’ve been doing this work and I just reinterpret the classic styles of the past.

Brand Designer/Stylist: Accessories don’t trend on their own. They go with clothing trends.

ME: So accessories aren’t treated as a whole separate market; they walk alongside clothing fashion.

Brand Designer/Stylist: Yeah.

REP: I wouldn’t say ‘accessories’. Rather, use the word ‘custom jewelry’.

ME: Right. Custom jewelry. I have another thing I wanna know. When you design your own jewelry for your brand, I assume that a certain disparity must exist between your own personal style and the style that your consumers want from you. How do you deal with that?

REP: Yes, of course, there definitely is that gap between what you want and what your customers want. I basically just try to ease prevailing current trends into my own designs. It’s actually one of the reasons why I attend fashion fairs like this-to make our jewelry better known among the public and to find the line between my personal visions and public desires.

ME: Hmm. That makes sense.

REP: It’s really all about reinterpretation. I keep my analogue sensitivity but reinterpret it accordingly every time, just like brands like Ralph Lauren-I truly respect Ralph Lauren- or Yves Saint Laurent do with their fashion. They always have a sort of consistent structure, sensitivity, and sense of color but they manage to make their collections different every time. Our brand name, Celety, means celebration+party, and I got the idea from the song ‘Celebration’ by a band called Kool and the Gang. You should look them up.

ME: Sure.

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(‘Celebration’ by Kool and the Gang)

 

I learned a lot from the short 8-minute conversation that we had. It made me think of jewelry from a new perspective. Not just as an ‘accessory’ but as an actual part of the whole fashion scene. Later, the Celety brand rep. told me that she likes plain white tees with a simple eyeliner and a high bun, because they’re easier to coordinate jewelry with. This made me look at fashion from a whole new point of view. Fashion isn’t just about the clothes you wear. It’s about how you wear them and what you wear them with. And it’s also about perspective. In an industry where objectivity is almost nothing but a myth and sales are based on interaction through common style, every sector of the industry has a strikingly unique point of view towards fashion and towards other sectors. Albeit modern youthful fashion labels focus on studs, statement tees, and bright floral shorts, jewelry brands like Celety appreciate a clean cut look more, because apparently a simple, plain look is more convenient when styling and matching jewelry.

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(The brand rep. gave me this necklace as a gift. I picked it out myself because of the ethnic feel and the combination of colors. I still cannot get over how stunning the necklace looks and how much it means to me. It’s an embodiment of all the sleepless, blogging-filled nights that have led up to this moment.)

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(Yay I’m wearing the necklace!)

I know that Celety will forever have a special place in my heart and my career. The brand rep. said she would invite me to future brand store openings and all that jazz, so, looking bright here!

GETTING TO MEET THE MOST FAMOUS FASHION DESIGNERS IN KOREA//THE RUNWAY

This was a huge part of KSW for me since, well, obviously, it’s not every day that you get to meet the role model of your whole career. Watching the runway shows at KSW and seeing Ko Tae Yong(고태용) and Hwang Jae Keun(황재근) was something that I never thought I’d be doing at this stage of my life and being there and witnessing their presence before my eyes was so inspiring in itself.

I learned a lot from listening to them talk.

Ko Tae Yong, who recently had his own show in New York Fashion Week just this year, designs for Reebok and his own brand, Beyond Closet. I watched him intently. His shades were reflecting light, and they shimmered because he kept adjusting them incessantly. He was also fiddling with his fringe a lot as he spoke. His choice of garments to the event was simpler than I had expected. He looked carefree yet down to designing business in loose black trousers and a loose shirt to go with.

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Ko Tae Yong’s words about how a fearless spirit is imperative in becoming a fashion designer really channeled my attitude towards being head-first and non-stop rather than over-thinking every single situation and being too careful to take risks. During his interview, he calmly stated that the most important difference between designer clothes and clothes sold at 4900 won is that designer clothes are sold at a much higher price because they have a sense of identity, unlike clothes that are mass produced in a factory. It cleared things up a little for me and I learned not to view the high-fashion designer brand world with my usual negativity and slight cockiness, since although the high-fashion world may be clouded by stereotypes of unlimited wealth and useless hubris, there is definitely a reason why those classic brands are still a huge success in the industry, and there’s a lot to learn from them.

 

Hwang Jae Keun is the ultimate champion of Project Runway Korea. That means he’s a renowned, experienced designer(Whoo, shocker). He gave styling tips and answered questions from the audience, and although I didn’t get to directly ask him anything due to time management issues, I did learn a thing or two about the concept of fashion.

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I realize now that I’ve been so selfish about fashion and art. I always had that selfish ‘i-don’t-want-your-influence-because-fashion-should-be-personal-and-genuine’ type of mindset when it came to styling or designing, but Hwang Jae Keun’s talk on what fashion meant was an eye-opening turning point. He said that fashion was ‘communication‘, because not only does a fashion designer have to express his individual identity but he also must excel in creating a common ground in which to bond with his consumers. I remember an internet article I read about Lana Del Rey saying that she doesn’t like it when people listen to and reinterpret her music because she makes her music solely for herself. At the time I was sympathetic of what she said to a certain extent, but I’m slowly leaning away from that point of view to the less-stubborn side.

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The runway shows were a delight.

 

HOW I FOUND OUT I CAN’T MODEL

Now, I’m usually the one behind the camera, taking pictures of other people (or heavenly items that I find once in a while in the back of my wardrobe), and I gotta confess that although taking the photos is great because I get to direct everything and create my own little work of art, sometimes, once in a while, I do want to be the girl standing in front of the camera, basking in the glorious spotlight of that camera beam. It’s probably not just me(I hope.), I bet a lot of girls and guys have flipped through W magazine or Vogue thinking, ‘Oh man, I gotta do that someday’. So since I was at KSW with my lil’ sis, I decided to switch roles for a change!

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“Like this?”

“No no, put your chin down a little more, and SMIZE. You know what Tyra Banks told you on ANTM.”

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“Ohhh okay like THIS!”

“Ehh.. move your head back a little.”

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“What, you mean like THIS??”

“Gurrlll you ain’t ever gonna be a model. Stop that this instant people are watching”

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“OHMYGEERRRRRD”

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Okay, this last pic is the least monstrous one out of all of them. This will have to do.

 

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(This is how it’s supposed to be done.)

All my sleepless nights of watching America’s Next Top Model and I still can’t take a good photo. Well that makes me feel professional.

LAST THOUGHTS…

Upon concluding this exclusive, one-of-a-kind, fashion-filled post, I’d like to give a huge internet hug to my readers(whether they want it or not) and I’d like to say thank you to everyone that’s supported me and brought me here. Although I still consider myself a beginner, I must say that I’ve come further in this than I expected myself to be at this time of my life and I’m grateful of the fact that I can still find the positive, pure energy in me to continue on with this passion of mine. I’m having the time of my life here, and I guess I can only try hard and hope things just keep on escalating.

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Escaping with my sister to Han River at night!

Hey readers,

I’ve always held a fascination for the nighttime. Since I’m almost an insomniac, in middle school(since I had nothing better to do back then) I would stay up until 4 or 5 in the morning and write or draw. Now I use that time to blog. For me, the night has always been my mental escape to freedom. Yesterday night, however, I decided to actually, physically escape. I went to the Han River with my sister(of course, not too late at night) and talked and ate and took some photos. Usually it takes quite a bit of persuading to get my sister to have some fashion photos taken of herself, but when I asked her today she quickly obliged because she was wearing her new favorite outfit.

Excuse the blurry photos-all we brought was a lousy camera phone. But on the bright side the city lights look amazing! And hey they kind of look artistic, if you know what I mean.

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(Teddy bears’ picnic! Does anyone recognize the orange Friendbear Care Bear…? I feel old.)

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The outfit of the night.

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Cropped top and matching shorts!

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Note to self: taking photos at night with camera phone-not a good idea in terms of photography. However, in terms of vintage artistic awesomeness, best accidental find ever!

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White Converses go with just about anything and everything.

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You’re part of a trend, whether you like it or not.

Hey readers,

Fashion trends are rooted in the basic human desire to imitate. It’s a human nature that has been psychologically proven, over and over again, through the behavior of infants and in the discipline of social psychology. It’s what runs the fashion industry. It’s what drives consumers to willingly open up their wallets and cough up the large amounts of money to invest in some nice clothes. Imitation brings us comfort; a sense of belonging. It’s a connection to our surroundings and to other members of society.

“That is the key of this collection, being yourself. Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.”

-Gianni Versace

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“Dress to Impress”

Going further into the psychology of fashion consumption, there’s something more to the formation of trends than just a primary instinct to copy what we see. There’s a desire to impress. Not only do we want to fit in but we want to prove a point to other people. This is interesting because this is where we get to see the differences in culture and standards of value. Some people value wealth and adorn themselves with million-dollar jewels and preppy designer brand garments. Some people choose to show people that they’re more carefree and cool by dressing in baggy trousers and a hipster top. Others might idolize sensuality and wear skimpy clothes that can show off their body(I’m not saying this is ideal, just an example). Whatever they value most in life, what all of these people have in common is the subconscious(or possibly conscious) need to impress other people and make other people think of them in a certain way.

Since everyone has different standards, not everyone follows the same trend, but almost everyone is indeed involved in a certain pattern of fashion consumption. Ditto trends exist everywhere. Even when you think you’re badass for not caring about Chanel or Louis Vuitton and you turn to goth chains and ripped black skinny jeans, you’re still part of a ‘trend’ of being goth(or emo. or both. or maybe you’re just badass).

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(SUDDEN REALIZATION THAT I’M NOT AS SPECIAL AS I THOUGHT I WAS *gasp*)

“As a designer, you’ve always got to push yourself forward; you’ve always got to keep up with the trends or make your own trends. That’s what I do.”

-Alexander McQueen

If I ended this post here, it would be terrible, because I like to convince people that they are special. And you truly are, whether you see it or not. Being unique isn’t about wearing clothes from a distant universe that no one else has ever imagined to make before. It’s about your decisions. It’s why you make the choices you make. It’s the ability to make conscious choices to follow your own heart and not be dragged around by other people. So go ahead and wear that old, comfy, ‘unstylish’ shirt that you secretly love wearing when you’re alone in your room reading these blog posts. (Just don’t wear it to a job interview or anything. Have common sense and appropriate courtesy in fashion and it’ll probably be fine.)

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Image Credits:

http://www.fashionmagazine.com/fashion/at-the-shows/2012/10/29/top-10-fashion-trends-spring-2013/

http://www.mememaker.net

 

Style lord, Lorde. (Excuse the pun.)

Hey readers,

I remember a conversation with a close friend of mine where he asked me, “If you could look like anyone in the world, apart from yourself, who would you want to look like?” And I remember myself immediately replying, “Lorde.” He seemed puzzled, and asked why. I said, “She’s confident, unique, and so…raw.” (Raw as in genuine and straightforward and true.) Yup. I still stand by that statement.

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(The 17-year-old sensation, Lorde. Real name: Ella O’Connor.)

What does being confident, unique, and genuine have to do with looks, you may ask. But I think it actually has everything to do with looks. When someone is confident in their individuality and comfortable in their own skin, it shows on their face and the way they carry themselves. They glow(I often see this when I’m browsing through http://www.humansofnewyork.com). Of course, I can’t say for certain that Lorde is self-actualized and genuine(because I’m not a supernatural being that can determine people’s internal statuses) but when I watch clips of her performing her songs or talking about her music in interviews, I get the feeling that she is being genuine and true, from the lyrics she writes and the way she always speaks her mind honestly, the way she twitches her body to the rhythm with her eyes clenched shut, with her hands in the air, trying to shape the feeling of the sound like she’s searching for something. Therefore, when I think of Lorde, the first thing that comes to mind is “raw”. She’s just so original, from the way she posts pictures of herself with her acne cream to her outrage towards photoshop.

Not only is Lorde sensational in her music, but also in her style. I must admit-I am officially in love with Lorde’s fashion. I don’t usually gush over celebrities’ clothes but I just can’t help it because Lorde’s fashion so clearly yet subtly reflects her character and identity. Also, I personally love her simple-yet-bold clothes in general.

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One of the things I despise the most is drawing lines between men and women. Obviously, in many cases, the two sexes are essentially distinctly different in more ways than one, but I strongly believe that generalization must be avoided. Maybe that’s why I feel attracted to people or concepts or art pieces that successfully destruct the line between blue and pink that society has created for us. I am captivated by people who proudly stand in between the traditional gap of perceived gender disparity. People like Lorde. Lorde’s style is ‘feminine’ yet ‘masculine’, mature yet youthful, and unique and individual yet relatable to the general public. 

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Although she does have her flaws and does make mistakes once in a while(I didn’t understand why she declared Selena Gomez’s song ‘Come and Get It’ to be against feminism… I think it’s really all in how you interpret the lyrics, and Lorde saw them in a more sensitive way, I guess.), she’s still one of the most courageous young artists out there that are in the business mainly for the art, not to earn money by trying to look attractive and singing catchy songs that mean nothing to her. And that’s what makes her so appealing to hordes of fans(myself included). Her truthfulness shines into her strong, independent, ‘this-is-who-i-am-so-deal-with-it’ style.

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She usually wears clothes with bold hemlines and structures, and this conveys her attitude perfectly. Most of the time she wears bold, dark colors like black(lots and lots of it), wine red, dark blue etc. I just cannot get enough of her serious, dark, mysterious atmosphere. I didn’t think I would ever say this about a celebrity, but I just want to buy her wardrobe. There. I said it. Her expression of self through fashion is almost identical to how I would choose to do it  if I had more money.

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The fun thing is, judging from Lorde’s clothes, I feel like I’m already her best friend, since our styles are so similar. The basic premise behind this thought is probably that fashion reflects one’s personality and inner nature. Don’t we usually feel compelled to befriend those with similar self-identities to ourselves? Fashion is a profound way of expressing individual identity, and it can bond people together or split them apart(*cough cough high school cliques*). It’s quite interesting how the most basic principle of fashion can make me feel like I’m soulmates with a celebrity who doesn’t know I exist. said Konni, desperately trying to rationalize her extreme Lorde fangirling.

To comment or like this post, just click on the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box. Please feel free to express your thoughts, it makes my day! : )

Image Credits: http://www.actualitypopstars.com, ynaija.com, m.dolly.com.au, guestofaguest.com, upmagazineblog.wordpress.com

What it takes to be a model

Hey readers,

You know when we see a hot girl/guy and gush about her/him to our friend sitting next to us, whispering, “She/He should so totally be a model!” What thought runs through our mind at that exact moment? What makes us decide, in that moment, that a pretty, skinny, tall, handsome person ‘should be a model’? Is it because we truly, innately believe that attractiveness must be promoted and shown to the public? Or is it our unconscious, submerged in the shallow puddle of a standardized, lookism society?

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(The mugshot of Jeremy Meeks, the ‘#sexyfelon’)

Above is THE controversial mugshot photo that people are going crazy over. For those of you that haven’t yet heard what the fuss is all about, here’s the story: Jeremy Meeks, a former gangbanger and convict of a number of other charges(grand theft, felon possession of a firearm, and more in the past), recently shot to fame after his mugshot(image above), which was posted on a police Facebook page, attracted the attention of social media. At the time, the photo had over 100,000 likes(which means it has even more now). Meeks is currently still behind bars, but women all over the world are raising money and supporting his bail for the one reason that he is HOT. He has also landed a modelling contract with Blaze Modelz, a modelling agency based in L.A. Tom Ford has also signed a contract with the felon for him to appear at court wearing a Tom Ford suit and tie.

The disturbing thing about this story is the extent to which people judge based on looks. It’s sickening to think that one would actively donate money(which could have been used to help buy food for people living in poverty) to get someone out of jail-not because they logically think that he is innocent-but just because he is attractive.

However, what’s even more disturbing is the fact that modelling agencies and high-fashion brands are approaching him, offering him modelling contracts. Well obviously it is a well known fact that most models are ‘attractive’ according to social standards, but this whole craze makes me question the essence of being a fashion model. Is modelling solely about fame and good looks?

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I really enjoyed watching Season(Cycle)20 of the famous TV show America’s Next Top Model, and although most of the contestants tend to be physically attractive, I remember that at the end of the day the final judgement was made based not on looks but on true talent, ‘talent’ being possessing the traits/skills(spontaneity and creative response to unexpected situations, posture, confidence, understanding of one’s own physical features, passion for fashion, etc.) that are required to be a good model. This is one of the reasons why I enjoyed the show. But apparently in the real fashion world people can just get hired as a model(despite the fact that a whole nation-worthy number of people are in line, working their butts off to become a model) for looking good and taking a good mugshot.

Can a single mugshot really ooze ‘fashion model potential’? Is being ‘hot’ a direct ticket to a new career in the path of high-fashion?

Here’s another example of someone becoming a model after becoming internet-famous for their looks.

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(Axelle Despiegelaere, the Belgian girl who landed a L’Oreal cosmetic modelling contract for standing in the crowd and looking pretty at the World Cup)

She filmed a hair tutorial, then had that modelling contract in her hands until it was snatched away because of a photo of her posing with a gun and a dead animal that she killed on a hunting trip. With the photo she wrote the caption, ‘Hunting is not a matter of life or death. It’s much more than that..this was about 1 year ago…ready to hunt americans today haha : P ‘ Fans were outraged and L’Oreal announced that her contract was ‘completed’.

What I’m trying to say through this story is, is an attractive photo and internet fame all that it takes to become a model? Of course, companies seek profit by hiring trending figures to represent their brand, but what does this mean to the meaning and definition of being a model? Is a model just a pretty face?

The ‘digital age’ was brought upon us many conveniences but at the same time also took away and degraded some of our values, one of them being the genuine artistic essence of modelling(which, for a healthy society, should be anything but just looks and fame). Because of this, we’re experiencing an era where young women are starving themselves to get perfectly flat stomachs and a gap between their thighs, where boys exercise just to get those ripped abs that they see on TV commercials. We’re experiencing an era where being yourself and looking different from the social norm is unacceptable, because we’re forced to standardize looks and fall into the trap of lookism that we’re making for ourselves.

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Letter to my readers & Summer plans

Dear readers,

Ironically, now that finals are over, I’m going to think more.

I feel like my mind has been confined in a rectangular box for the past 2~3 weeks, since during exam period even reading about people’s views on women’s self-identity and introspection and thinking about feminism is considered a “waste of time”(when I personally think it’s one of the most meaningful things I did this exam period). I mean, I do support and believe in education but I just wish it would involve more independent thinking and individual creativity rather than solely depending on memorization skills.

Well anyways, I’m back! : D It’s summer and I’ve got more time to talk to you guys-my awesome readers whom I love ❤ Honestly, you guys are the best, most insightful readers I could ever wish for. I’m sorry if I sometimes take too long to reply to comments-I’ll try to be faster… And hey if you wanna leave feedback or just talk about anything send me an email: konnikim@gmail.com

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(attempting and failing to build sandcastles at the beach last summer with friends! can’t wait to go again.)

Although my favorite season is without doubt winter(snow! hot chocolate! boots!), I have to admit that summer is one crazy, crazy season. This summer I’m hoping to do lots of things. I’ve got so many ideas in my head right now so let me just write them out.

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(I miss my furry winter boots : (  )

1. Blog, blog, blog.

No one will ever be able to tear me away from my old laptop! (Arrg the ‘d’ key is missing because I was stressed and pulled it out and threw it across the room in a storm of rage two weeks ago… couldn’t find it : (  )

 

2. Think!

I know I mentioned above that I’m gonna think more. Specifically I mean that I’m going to try to reduce the amount of time I spend just routinely doing things. I want to question anything and everything and try to read more and analyze more.

 

3. Go on a diet  Nahh not happenin’. Can’t live without my crisps and Nesquik.

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(How to be my friend: give me Nesquik.)

 

3. Study more

Obviously.

 

4. Buy merchandise!!

Wishlist: Harry Potter wand(yes, I’m 17 years old), Harry Potter shirt, Nirvana shirt, My Chemical Romance shirt.

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(okay #shutupandtakemymoney)

 

5. Come up with more effective argumentation to use against ignorant people that oppose gay marriage/any other type of equality.

Sexists, racists, and basically any other group of biased organisms of the human species included.

 

6. Do something crazy with someone I love.

Because isn’t that what summer is all about??

 

7. Learn to forget the haters!

Seriously girl, you go up to my best friend and whisper in her ear just to tell her you think I’m ugly? That ain’t make you any prettier (or cooler, for that matter).

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8. Fangirl over Benedict Cumberbatch…

…and how unbelievably sexy he is in Sherlock.

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(isn’t this GIF cute? I think it’s adorable.)

 

9. Stop unfairly judging people.

Okay, okay this kind of contradicts #7, but come to think of it now I too unconsciously judge people. So let’s all try not to judge each other(myself included).

 

10. Improve my Spanish.

Yeah, sure, Spanish movies are super fun and artistic. It’s just that I can’t understand what they’re saying. Is someone dead? Are they going to dinner now..ohh they weren’t whispering love poems in each other’s ears they were arguing over a divorce. okay.

 

I can’t think of any more right now but I’ll add more to the list if I come up with anything. What are YOUR plans this summer?

Don’t forget to comment(click the title of this post, then scroll down!) or Like this post!

Thanks!

 

Image Credits: http://www.nestleprofessional.com, http://www.memecenter.com, http://www.zap2it.com, http://www.lyst.com